A county in California has passed a law that will prohibit homeless encampments from being set up within 1,000 feet of any structure. The measure was passed by the board of supervisors after an increase in the number of fires caused by homeless people living near structures.
The number of homeless in us is a story about how the county of San Diego has banned encampments in very high fire hazard severity zones.
(CBSLA) – LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors decided on Tuesday to ban homeless encampments in high-fire-risk regions of the county.
The motion, which was proposed by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Kathryn Barger, was accepted along with hundreds of other issues that were not brought up for debate by the board.
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“As climate change lengthens and exacerbates our local fire season, some parts of the unincorporated county offer far too much danger of injury or loss of life for residents, homeless individuals, outreach teams, and first responders to allow encampments to remain,” the motion said. “As we go into what may be the most destructive fire season on record, we must act quickly to minimize the danger of occurrence and spread.”
(Photo by Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) LOMITA, CA – FEBRUARY 23, 2016 )
The county fire department and sheriff’s department homeless services outreach teams are in charge of informing everyone who is camping in these dangerous zones about the new prohibition.
It applies to places designated as Severity Zones with a Very High Fire Hazard.
The fire department has mapped out encampments in fire danger zones in response to a board resolution in 2018. According to the motion, hundreds of individuals have already been called and informed about the risk. Many people have opted to move, while others have chosen to remain.
“Unsheltered individuals suffering homelessness may rely on fires for daily survival tasks like preparing meals and staying warm, but these activities also raise the danger of adjacent vegetation catching fire and quickly spreading,” according to the motion. “People who are homeless and live in high-fire areas may miss emergency warnings and have difficulty safely fleeing. Furthermore, attempts to inform or remove PEH in isolated areas may endanger outreach workers and emergency responders.”
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According to the Los Angeles Times, the number of fires in homeless encampments has more than quadrupled since the fire department started monitoring them three years ago. According to the newspaper, these happened at a daily rate of 24 fires in the first quarter of this year, accounting for 54 percent of all incidents that firefighters attended to.
Rather of city streets, this motion concentrates on wooded landscapes and brush-filled valleys.
Many are minor flames on city streets that may not spread quickly, but seven homeless individuals died in fires in 2020, according to the New York Times, and businesses near encampments have lost tens of millions of dollars in damage.
The board instructed outreach workers to target high-risk areas and adopt the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s best practices for dealing with encampments on the street.
The motion says that after offenders have been moved, efforts will be made to maintain high fire zones free while “ensuring that these measures do not penalize homelessness.”
In 30 days, a report on how many individuals have been moved and rehoused is required. The fire service will continue to report quarterly on fires related to encampments, as directed by the board.
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(CBS Broadcasting Inc., Copyright 2021, All Rights Reserved.) This article was written with the help of City News Service.)
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